The International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) network consists of academics, practitioners and policy makers. The IEF events are designed to encourage the meeting of these three groups based on the belief that there is as much value in academic exploration as in discovery through practice. Through this process of interaction, the IEF network aims to obtain a better appreciation of the subject of entrepreneurship. Since its inception, the IEF has held an annual event each year for the past 13 years on a specific and typical theme for deliberation, presentations and discussion.

An impressive array of speakers and other contributors have generated a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Each event has been marked by a rich variety of research papers, key contributions by practitioners and decision makers, and, significantly, by formal and informal hours of interaction between owner-managers, academics and decision makers. Crucially, participants have been able to use the highly interactive format of the events to develop new partner- ships and projects to pursue particular activities. One of the most satisfying out- comes of all the events has been the identification of new interest, scholarship and insight into entrepreneurial activity, across different countries, demonstrating the value of learning in an international arena of thought and practice. This outcome informs the themes and topics chosen for each conference.

The IEF continues to collaborate with the OECD, LEED Programme, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and various institutions across the world. of entrepreneurship on regional and local economic development

The Venture Academy: Entrepreneurship Research and Development at Essex Business School

Entrepreneurship research, development and dissemination, focuses on varied aspects of new venture creation (in and for business, non-governmental organisations, large enterprises and social enterprise), innovative growth, and the impact of entrepreneurship on regional and local economic development.

The Venture Academy builds on the research portfolio of all academic staff, and supports the work of research students and a group of associates. The VA has established working links with similar centres in the UK and in India, China, USA, Poland, France, Italy, South Africa and Colombia. It houses the well-established International Entrepreneurship Forum and has good working links with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its Centre for Entrepreneurship and Local Development, which has supported various the IEF conferences on entrepreneurship as a co-organiser over the years.

The VA has developed an impressive track record of empirical and action- research based projects, training and consultancy programmes, and advisory initiatives for a range of public, private and non-governmental organisations. It has supported, for example, the unique China Business Research Group funded by the Shandong Weigao Group Company Ltd in China, focusing on China European business connections and technology based entrepreneurship respectively, on African Entrepreneurship Curriculum Development in Nigeria, with Bayero University and the Nigerian Government, a Social Entrepreneurship Programme with the British Council in India, and other global initiatives.

ICN Business School is a member of the Chapter of the ‘Grandes Écoles de Management’ in the Conférence des Grandes Écoles. Created in 1905 by the University of Nancy and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Meurthe-et-Moselle, ICN Business School is a private higher education institution recognized by the State, associated with the University of Lorraine. In 1999, ICN Business School founded the Alliance Artem with two other institutions of higher education, the Nancy School of Art and Design (Ecole nationale supérieure d’art et de design de Nancy) and the Nancy School of Engineering (Mines Nancy). It is a partnership which promotes, in its educational programs, interdisciplinarity, alternative learning methods, creativity and innovation, all with a view to training a new generation of creators and decision-makers. Throughout the different programs of study this pioneering alliance offers a creative learning experience which is unique in France. Interdisciplinary teaching is a reality with Artem. Accredited EQUIS and AMBA, ICN Business School offers one of the best Masters in Management in the world according to the Financial Times.

Entrepreneurship Research and Early Growth Acceleration Initiative at ICN Business Early Growth Acceleration Initiative. Investigated since 2011 and formally launched in 2014 in collaboration with University catholic of Louvain (through its excellence Center CRECIS) the Early Growth Acceleration Initiative (EGAI) is an action-research international group dedicated to conducting research into understanding entrepreneurial firm early growth process and performance and creating usable knowledge in this field. Its goal is to design and develop research projects that are theoretically sound, empirically accurate, and of practical significance to start-ups as well as its ecosystem. The EGA Initiative seeks to be a key actor in firm early Growth and performance research and education for both undergraduate, graduate students as well as young entrepreneurs seeking high performance and growth. The initiative offers many entrepreneurial experiential learning opportunities for learners including simulation-based start-ups development and new venture contest as well as family business and entrepreneurship training, and have reached out to the business community to work with, learn from and honor outstanding the start-up ecosystem.

Since 2015 Early Growth Acceleration Initiative (EGAI) extended his mission to include African entrepreneurship initiatives. In collaboration with SAM (Société Africaine de Management “Africa Management Society”) and its community, the initiative recently added a new axis of research linked to the Nord-South relations and the management in the context of Africa. It has good working links with the Société Africaine de Management/African Management Society (SAM) and the CAMES (“African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education”). It has supported various research initiatives, for example, the unique Research Group (RMA-Recherche en Management et l'Afrique/ Management Research and Africa) hosted by AIMS (Association International de Management Stratégique/International Strategic Management Association) or prior conferences (Conferences Africaine de Management: CAM) in Burkina Faso and Gabon.

Focusing on a good understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in emerging economies, EGAI and related partners direct their efforts to entrepreneurship in Africa. The pilot project starting with Francophone world context has been endorsed by CAMES (“African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education”). With the aim to explore the entrepreneurial dynamism in Africa, a pilot project (“Public Policy, Societal Culture, and Entrepreneurship: A study of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Africa (case of CAMES zone)”), was formally announced at the closing session of CAM 2018 (“African Management Conference ») hold in Libreville Gabon.

SAM (Société Africaine de Management/African Management Society, is an outstanding network of people from Africa and all around the world interested in Management issues in Africa. The fundamental mission of SAM is to promote research and training, and improve management practice in Africa. More specifically, SAM aims (1) to provide a forum for reflection, production, exchange and knowledge dissemination to all stakeholders interested in management issues in Africa (researchers, public and private decision makers, development partners, trainers, students ...), (2) to make proposals at the forefront of innovation in management practices, training and research in Africa, (3) to contribute to the development and dissemination of an African scientific perspective on management in particular in the African context, (4) to assist stakeholders in Africa to meet the huge challenges of knowledge management in a "world of knowledge". Since its creation in 2012, SAM has significantly contributed transforming the landscape of management research and teaching in sub-Saharan francophone through a series of new, and inventive research and teaching initiatives. Below are listed some of those unprecedented, innovative, and original research and teaching actions.

CAM (Conférences Africaines de Management/African Management Conferences). Main scientific event of SAM, the CAM editions include a doctoral workshop, round tables, an advanced training seminar and scientific communications. They usually last 3-4 days. The first five editions were held in Dakar (Senegal, 2013), Cotonou (Benin, 2014), Douala (Cameroon, 2015), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso, 2016), and Libreville (Gabon, 2017), annually attracting hundreds of participants from over 10 countries (Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Gabon, Togo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Congo, France, Canada…).

CIRFAM (Centre International de Recherche et de Formation Appliquées au Management/International Center for Research and Training Applied to Management). CIRFAM aims to foster the establishment, in Universities, of a new original offer of research and training giving prominent place to Internationalization (notably towards Africa and emerging countries through mobility programs, cross-national research and teaching projects…), Research (tight connection with SAM), Democratization of education (especially using ICT to reach marginalized public for reasons of geographical distance, professional or personal accidents), and Professionalization (especially through the consideration of management issues).

RIDEC (Réseau International de la Diaspora de l’Espace CAMES/International Network of the Diaspora of CAMES Area). RIDEC aims to create a partnership framework between SAM, CAMES and the African Diaspora of the CAMES area (19 francophone subsaharan African countries) based on a higher education and research making the most of the African Diaspora members by capitalizing on their initiative and their entrepreneurial sense, experience, skills and resources, integrating their values of commitment for Africa and openness to the world, and promoting external/internal synergies for training and research of the highest quality, leading to better employability of young people, to create value and sustainable development. The first RIDEC was held in Paris in 2014.

The above list of initiatives is not comprehensive. SAM has provided support in multiple other ways, from promoting management in Africa (for example, the “Journées Nationales du Management”/National Days of Management in Cameroon, the Management Research Certification in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, the PhD students mentoring in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, or the multiple interventions in the African press.


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